UNISON’s response to the Budget

Commenting on the Spring Budget today (Wednesday) UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

On pay
“For almost a decade nurses, teaching assistants, town hall staff and others in the public sector have had their wages frozen or been given minuscule pay rises.

“These are the people keeping the NHS, schools and local communities afloat in tough times. The pay boost for Westminster politicians should’ve signalled a decent pay rise for the rest of the public sector, especially with inflation almost double the one per cent cap.

“But without a mention from the Chancellor, public service employees will be feeling they’re the forgotten part of the ‘jam’ generation. Most are not managing at all.

“There was nothing today to relieve their ongoing pay pain, and as wages rise elsewhere, public sector workers are being left further and further behind.”

On social care
“The government is finally waking up to the social care crisis. Extra money is welcome, but it doesn’t even come close to making up the funding cut since 2010 and won’t stop extreme rationing of care.

“The government is treading water while it waits for a plan to emerge. Ministers are sidestepping the shameful crisis in social care. A crisis robbing the most vulnerable of their dignity, and keeping care workers in poverty.”

On the NHS
“Social care cash will provide some immediate relief, yet the government is still tinkering while the NHS crumbles. It’s insulting to deny the health service, patients and all those working in it the funding lifeline that would secure its future.

“If it were a hospital, the government would be put into special measures for this shoddy performance.”

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk
Sophie Goodchild T: 0207 121 5546 M: 07767 325595 E: s.goodchild@unison.co.uk
Alan Weaver T: 0207 121 5555 M: 07939 143310 E: a.weaver@unison.co.uk
Joe Lewis T: 0207 121 5255 M: 07970 863 411 E: j.lewis5@unison.co.uk